i miss everyone by nikki reimer

i miss everyone

Grief is a wild place. A dangerous place. It is both a place inhabited by the body, and a place inhabited within the body.

I found this image amongst my brother’s files on our parents’ computer. His photographs take my breath away. When I look at his pictures, I feel as if I’m seeing the world from his perspective. That statement sounds banal. What I mean is that I look at his photographs and I see the Chris whom I knew and the artistic genius whom I knew, and who also remained hidden from me. And I feel like I am within his eyes, seeing what he saw, recognizing a way of seeing the world which is so intimate and familiar to me, but which at the same time opens up artistic viewpoints I hadn’t yet considered. Maybe this makes no sense.

I photoshopped in the text as my own response: to Chris, to Chris’ absence, to the enormous number of changes that have happened within my own life in the past 12 months. I do miss. I miss my brother like half my organs have been severed ripped torn emptied bleeding out and I am still compelled to walk around like a normal person. As if my very life has not been torn from my body. Even the language available to me to describe this experience is old cliched worn and used. Here. Here I am. I miss. I miss my old life in Vancouver. I miss my friends. I miss walking around my neighbourhood, stopping for groceries. Walking from the Skytrain. Feeling like I was part of something. I am here in grief-exile, squatting in the basement of my parents’ house with my husband and cats, in the wilds of suburban Calgary. I miss my life. I miss my brother. I miss the city. I miss everyone.

i miss everyone

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